Preparing Your Will- Checklist for making a Will

  • Author: David Crosby
  • Posted on: 15th December 2020
  • Posted in: Blog

Is it time to consider writing or updating your will?

As we continue to work through what has been an extremely challenging year with the global Covid-19 pandemic being at the forefront of the news and our day to day lives, here at Crosby & Woods we have been advising a large number of clients on creating or updating wills. 

In England and Wales, anyone over the age of 18 years old can legally make a will if they own assets, own a business, have children/dependents, are retiring, or if their financial or personal circumstances change. It is never too soon or too late to make a will and with the uncertainty of the current Covid crisis, now is the time to prepare or update your will. 

Will writing checklist

As a starting point for preparing a Will, here's the key information that you will need to gather:

  • Personal Information- We will need to know your full name, current address, date of birth, relationship status and the names and date of birth of any children/dependents.
  • Estate Information- This is information relating to any items of value you own, also known as assets. This may include; property, financial assets such as bank accounts or stocks and shares. Personal assets such as jewellery, antiques or vehicles. You must also consider that this will include anything held in joint names. 
  • Beneficiaries- This means the person/people who you appoint to receive your Estate when you die. You will need to provide full names and addresses for any beneficiaries of your Estate. Your Estate can be managed in a number of different ways. You can leave legacies (fixed sums of money), gifts, possessions or donations to charity to named beneficiaries. 
  • Executors- An executor is responsible for closing your affairs after you die. The role of executor is an important one and should be assigned where possible to someone you know and trust. You can choose one or more people to act as an executor of your Will, and you can also nominate replacement executors in case those you originally appointed are unable or unwilling to act.
  • Legal Guardians- If you have children under the age of 18, then you need to appoint a Legal Guardian who will assume responsibility for them if both parents die when they are under the age of 18. You will need to provide full names and addresses for any named Legal Guardians.
  • Trustees- A Trust is a type of financial arrangement which can be put in place to manage your children's inheritance. there are different trust options available for you to consider and you will need to provide details of any trustees who will be responsible for managing the trust. Many people choose to name their chosen Executors as Trustees. You will need to provide details of the full names and addresses of your Trustees. 

Witnessing a will

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic witnessing a will was initially slightly challenging, however, the government is legalising the remote witnessing of wills via digital platforms such as FaceTime, Zoom and Skype. A will can also be witnessed at a safe distance in an open space or through a window as long as there is clear sight. These measures are to be back-dated to the 31st January 2020 and are said to remain in place until the 31st January 2022.


Why seek legal advice for will writing?

If a will is not prepared or executed properly this can lead to a will potentially being deemed invalid. It is also important to understand the contents of your will and to make sure it is kept up-to-date if any changes to your personal or financial circumstances. 

At Crosby & Woods, we provide a personal, comprehensive and affordable service when it comes to will writing and estate management matters. We are able to work remotely or safely in person depending on your personal circumstances, just let us know what works best for you.

Our specialist solicitors are here to help you- call us on 01273 734 600 or email advice@crosbywoods.co.uk